Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Ankylosaur Discovered in New Mexico

Canadian and U.S. paleontologists have announced the discovery of a new genus and species of ankylosaurid dinosaur, Ziapelta sanjuanensis.

Ankylosauridae (ankylosaurs, ankylosaurids) is a family of plant-eating dinosaurs with armored plates on their back.

Ankylosaurs lived in what is now western North America, Europe and East Asia, between 122 and 66 million years ago.

They were not only armored but were also heavily armed – they often had shoulder spikes and large bony clubs at the end of their tails.

The newly-discovered ankylosaur, named Ziapelta sanjuanensis, roamed what is today New Mexico during the so-called Kirtlandian land-vertebrate faunal age, 74.8 to 72.8 million years ago.

Its fossilized skull and bones were uncovered from the Kirtland Formation at Hunter Wash, San Juan Basin, in northwestern New Mexico in 2011.

More of the story here

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